In response to an influx of COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities across the state, Gov. Andy Beshear has mobilized 50 members of the Kentucky National Guard to be a part of 10 different non-clinical support teams.
Requests for help will come from the public health districts to Kentucky's emergency management office.
"The Kentucky National Guard is poised to help Long Term Healthcare Facilities across the state who are operating in counties in the red due to COVID-19 saturation," said Lt. Col. Travis Carpenter, Kentucky National Guard Director of Military Support. "Our professional team of service members will operate within agreed upon constraints to help facility leadership free their current employees up to focus on the residents who call the facilities home."
The Guard has been utilized in several missions across the state since the start of the pandemic.
"We are taking over duties like guest relations, COVID screening, and facility decontamination," Carpenter added. "These are types of things that we might be able to alleviate from healthcare providers so they can focus on the residents and conduct quality medical and wellness care."
The activation comes as healthcare facilities across the Bluegrass encroach on operational capacity levels the state has not witnessed since the beginning of the pandemic.
"Currently we're answering the call for assistance from facilities in Lexington, Louisville, Edmonton, and Hopkinsville," said Brig Gen. Hal Lamberton, Kentucky's Adjutant General. "We recognize the need could come from anywhere in the state, and we will adjust our focus and effort as the requests for help arrive."
The Kentucky National Guard mobilized back in March to assist the state with its response to COVID-19 and has been serving the Commonwealth in a variety of missions since the activation.
The current mission is designed to assist long-term healthcare facilities across the state and is expected to continue for at least 30 days.
According to Lamberton, "Since the start of this pandemic, the Kentucky Guard has been, and will continue to be, an effective organization aimed at responding to our fellow Kentuckians and aiding in the Governor's efforts to stomp out the spread of COVID-19."